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John Howard Reid

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More Multiple Contest Entries Pros and Cons
by John Howard Reid   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Thursday, October 14, 2010
Posted: Thursday, October 14, 2010

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To answer the question, "Is lodging multiple contest entries a good idea?" the answer is most definitely YES.

The Annual $5,550 Tom Howard Short Story, Essay and Prose Contest Is Open! The Margaret Reid Poetry Contest will re-open on November 15!

As I mentioned in my last Newsletter, unlike many other contests we impose no limit on the number of entries you may submit. A few people wrote to me and asked if it was possible for one entrant to win more than one prize. It certainly is! 

Unlike many other contests, each prize is judged individually. We don't try to balance the winning lists in any way at all. We don't care if women outnumber men or vice versa. We don't care if winners live in the USA or Timbuktu. We don't care if the writing is experimental or traditional. We don't care if the subject is "worthy" or unworthy, serious or humorous. And above all, we don't give a hoot if the contestant has already won a cash prize. We simply strive to select the best candidate for each prize from all the entries available.

So to answer the question, "Is lodging multiple entries a good idea?" the answer is most definitely YES. 

And as far as the Tom Howard Contests are concerned, "Is it possible for one person to win more than one cash prize in a particular contest?" the answer again is most definitely YES. 

When I was writing my guidebook, Write Ways to WIN WRITING CONTESTS: How To Join the Winners' Circle for Prose and Poetry Awards, I always lodged multiple entries, if possible. If the rules allowed three entries, I lodged three. If five, five. And if there was no limit, I always lodged five or six

As headlined above, the Tom Howard Short Story, Essay & Prose Contest is currently open. Although the Contest does not close until March 31, 2011, it's a good idea to start thinking of your entries right now instead of leaving them to the last month or so. Statistics show that early entries do have an advantage.

Last year, the prize pool for the prose contest was increased by the judges to $5,800 (including a First Prize of $3,000), an increase of $250 over the advertised $5,550. The judges are at liberty to do the same this year. However, this is up to them. They will be awarding $5,550 at the very least. The entry fee will remain at $15 for each short story or essay up to 5,000 words in length. 

You'll find full details at

An alternative site (click on the contest at the left or right of the screen) is

All subjects and genres are permissible, although there are two fields the judges would really like to encourage: Humorous and comic stories and essays are very much appreciated; and we would also like to see more genre entries such as mystery and detective stories, science fiction, romance, etc. 

When I was researching my Write Ways book, one thing I always did before entering a contest was to read past winning entries. Not only did this give me an idea of the genres and subjects the judges appreciated, but also the material they obviously were NOT looking for. Judges are human after all. 

So here are our previous anthologies of winning and highly commended entries. WATCHING TIME, our latest short story and essay anthology is again on sale at Amazon. The price is $12.95. The 14 prize-winners include four Firsts, three Seconds, and two Thirds! WATCHING TIME: Anthology of Prizewinning Essays & Short Stories

Amazon also stock two more collections of our winning prose, namely Mr Christian and the Bag Lady: An Anthology of Prize-Winning Stories and secondly, Keep Watching the Skies!

Because of copyright restrictions, these books unfortunately will not be available in electronic editions. But happily there is an e-book for Write Ways to WIN WRITING CONTESTS


Web Site: Short Story Contest

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